Well – it wouldn't be Canada Day (July 1st) or Independence Day (July 4th) without a parade!
Happy birthday to our friends to the south!
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Inuyasha characters – they all belong to Rumiko Takahashi.
Sesshomaru stopped dead in his tracks, causing Jaken to pile into his legs.
"Sorry, milord, sorry," the imp cried, flinging the Staff of Two Heads on the ground and abasing himself.
"Are they still following us?"
Sesshomaru did not really need to ask this question, of course. He could hear them quite easily. In fact, everyone within half a mile could hear them, even without the benefit of sharp demon ears.
"Y-yes, milord. They still follow."
Sesshomaru pinched the bridge of his patrician nose, closing golden eyes and giving a very heart-felt sigh. 'Why me?' he thought. 'Why couldn't something this humiliating happen to someone else – like maybe Inuyasha?'
Something small and chirping ran over his foot, startling him.
Sesshomaru spent a few moments prancing about, desperately trying to keep from stepping on the tiny, fuzzy yellow chicks that clustered about his feet, cheeping insanely. By this time, Rin was shrieking with laughter and dancing about as well, thinking it was all a very funny game. The demon lord lost the battle with gravity finally and sat down heavily in the middle of the path, the chicks at first scattering with shrill peeps of distress, and then coming back one by one to huddle around him.
Jaken turned away, his shoulders shaking with barely suppressed mirth. Sesshomaru clouted him anyway, then put his chin in his hand and sighed.
Rin knelt beside him, then picked up one of the chicks and cradled it carefully.
"Don't be angry, Lord Sesshomaru," she said. "See how adorable they are! They're so small and fuzzy." The little girl began to grin. "And they think you're their mother."
Sesshomaru held up his index finger in admonishment. "Do not dare to laugh, Rin!"
By this time, one of the chicks had managed to perch on his knee, squawking a blue streak. Rin and Jaken could not help but laugh, regardless of the deadly glare they were receiving from their master.
'Well,' Sesshomaru thought, 'who can blame them, really? The situation is beyond ludicrous.'
"I think we should come to a village soon, Lord Sesshomaru," Rin offered, still grinning ear-to-ear. "I'm sure we could get rid of the chicks there. There's bound to be someone glad to take them."
"A human village?" Oh joy. Could the day get any worse?
"Hey! Quit takin' up the road! Comin' through."
Apparently, the day could get worse. Much worse. Abysmal, to be precise.
"It wanted only this," Sesshomaru moaned as he got to his feet.
A strange pink contraption stopped beside him, scattering the squawking chicks. Atop this strange vehicle was Kagome, and behind her perched Inuyasha. Kagome surveyed Sesshomaru's uncharacteristic dishevelled state with some concern. Inuyasha snorted and put his nose in the air, pointedly ignoring his elder brother.
"Lord Sesshomaru, you haven't been in an accident, have you?" Kagome asked. "Is there something we could do to help?"
"No, I have not been in an accident, and I would appreciate it greatly if you two would just move on."
"C'mon, Kagome, let's go! He doesn't need any help from us."
The chicks came scrambling back, pushing at each other to get close to the demon lord's feet. The cacophony caused Inuyasha and Sesshomaru both to wince as their sensitive ears were assaulted. Sesshomaru forced himself not to jump as the little creatures tumbled over his boots.
Kagome stared at the fuzzy yellow congregation milling about Sesshomaru's feet. "Oh my."
"We're going to the next village to see if we can leave them there," piped up Rin. "They think that Lord Sesshomaru – "
"Rin – "
"They think that Lord Sesshomaru…"
"…is their mother!" the little girl finished triumphantly.
Sesshomaru hung his head, pinching the bridge of his nose again. Another heart-felt sigh escaped him, and he felt the beginnings of a raging headache.
"They've been following us everywhere!" Rin flung her arms out wide and spun in a circle, performing for her now very attentive audience of two.
Kagome tried unsuccessfully to choke back a giggle. Even Inuyasha chuckled.
"Well, if it's any help, there's a village just over the next hill," Kagome said. "We've just come from there."
With a brief nod of thanks, Sesshomaru adjusted his pelt, straightened his obi and drew himself up to his full and rather impressive height. He growled at the chicks scurrying about, and incidentally at his two retainers as well.
Jaken and Rin immediately fell in behind as the demon lord moved off at a deliberate pace. The chicks milled about a few seconds more before sorting themselves out into a ragged, single-file line behind Sesshomaru.
Inuyasha and Kagome watched this unlikely procession, no longer bothering to hide their mirth. Inuyasha was laughing so hard, he was holding his sides and in danger of falling off Kagome's bicycle.
"Hey, Sesshomaru!" he yelled after the demon lord. "Got your parade permit?"
Sesshomaru's only reply was to raise the one-finger salute.